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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
We are, of course, ahead in League (and other) results against Colchester over the years, but it is still more than 10 years since Shaun Goater's two goals helped us to our last home victory over them (a young John White came on as substitute for them).

The referee for this match, which I think will be closer than many imagine, is Oliver Langford from Darlaston, near Walsall in the West Midlands.

In his eighth season as a Football League referee, he has refereed Southend eight times before.

First was the dreadful match (until the last minute anyway) at Leyton Orient in 2008/9. He didn't excel, but did better than the players. The second was the low-key paint thing at Milton Keynes the following season. In both of those games he seemed to find it easier to caution away players than home ones. Barrett, Grant and Christophe in the first and Francis, Cristophe and Sawyer in the second.

His third Southend match was the 1-4 home defeat by Swindon 2011/12 when he cautioned Timlin, Kalala and, for them, Macca.

His fourth was early 2012/13 and somewhat controversial. In the 2-0 defeat at Oxford he only showed two soft yellow cards. Unfortunately they were both for Timlin.

Then he was in charge of the same season's home cup replay which we drew 1-1 with Bury, going through on penalties. He did fine - other than yet another soft yellow for Timlin.

Co-incidence alert - Deegan's suspension match was refereed by the referee who sent him off at Oxford - Timlin's suspension match will be refereed by the referee who sent him off at Oxford

Next came Morecambe away the season before last when we lost 2-1, with, unusually, both yellows going to the home team.

Then, in that same season he did our play-off defeat at Burton, when, as I'm sure everyone remembers, he had a rather poor game. White, Straker, Coker and Corr seeing yellow and one of theirs picking up a red.

Finally last season's Boxing Day match at Cambridge which went somewhat better. A win with yellows for Worrall and Leonard.

He seems to be quite highly rated for reasons I've never really understood and I am always be happier with him doing our home games. His card count remains amongst the lowest with just 58 yellows and 2 reds from 26 matches.

Colchester will be pleased with the appointment for it was he who took charge of their last away league win over four months ago at Swindon.

Assisting will be Lloyd Wood from Romford and Graham Kane, a citizen of Ditchling near Brighton. Fourth official is Stuart Butler from Maidstone, who it is to be hoped will not be called on in any other capacity.
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